With the Lok Sabha poll-boycott call of separatists having virtually fizzled out in Kashmir in the first of the seven-phase election on Thursday, top separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday again urged the people to boycott the remaining four phases (in J-K) of election as the “goal cannot be achieved with non-seriousness”.
The high percentage of polling in many segments of North Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency has embarrassed the separatist leadership who had given the poll-boycott call in the hope that the polling percentage would remain low as had been happening in the past.
Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for boycott a day before the polling.
In a statement from Srinagar, Geelani said on Friday afternoon that the people can achieve their goal only by being unanimous and committed to their collective movement of their aspirations and non-seriousness will prolong our goal, which in no way, we can afford.
Repeating the appeal for “complete boycott of the election”, Geelani said that people who are “suppressed, caged, brutalized and maimed” on one or the other pretext have no moral and ethical right to be part of any elections.
Polling ranging between 57 per cent and 60 per cent particularly in the Baramulla and Kupwara districts has upset the separatist leadership. Despite the poll-boycott call, 60.3 per cent polling was recorded in Handwara and it touched 59 per cent in Karnah, 58.7 per cent in Kupwara and 57 per cent in Uri.
Geelani criticised the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate’s notices to relatives of separatists in cases of alleged terror funding and money laundering. The NIA had earlier this week questioned the Mirwaiz for three days in the terror funding case.
The separatist leader also criticised the government for shifting Jamaat-e-Islami leaders to jails outside the Kashmir valley.